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Tuesday round-up

With the oral arguments in King v. Burwell, in which the Court will consider whether individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government are eligible for tax subsidies for those purchases, just a little over a month away, coverage and commentary continue apace.  At The Huffington Post, Jeffrey Young and Sam Stein focus on a brief filed by Rep. Paul Ryan and other Republican lawmakers, while in his column for The Atlantic Garrett Epps draws an analogy between an erroneous reading of Harry Potter and the challengers’ interpretation of the Affordable Care Act.  And in the New Republic, Brian Beutler reports on a brief by “dozens of public health scholars, along with the American Public Health Association,” that describes “the harm the Court would create by ruling for the challengers in” the case.

At a recent public appearance, Justice Elena Kagan discussed cameras in the courtroom; Marcia Coyle has coverage for the Blog of Legal Times (subscription or registration required).  And at PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman predicts that “Kagan being ‘conflicted’ about this will not  move the needle at all, [because] . . . the collegiality norms on the Court mean that, as long as one Justice remains strongly opposed to cameras, the rest of the Justices are never going to push the issue.”

At PrawfsBlawg, Richard Re looks at Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent from the denial of certiorari in Plumley v. Austin, in which (among other things) Thomas criticized the Fourth Circuit’s decision not to publish its opinion in the case.  And at his Maryland Appellate Blog, Steve Klepper explains why he does “not believe that avoiding Supreme Court review was why the Fourth Circuit declined to publish its opinion.”


  • At CNN, Ariane de Vogue looks at the Term as a whole and “why [it] matters.”
  • Elsewhere at PrawfsBlawg, Michael Coenen looks back at last Term’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate, and the Court’s disposition of the argument – made by an amicus brief – that the plaintiffs could have dropped all insurance coverage for their employees.
  • At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger observes that Toca v. Louisiana, a case that apparently settled last week, has been scheduled for oral argument on March 30.
  • At the National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog, Roger Clegg outlines three scenarios involving disparate impact and the Fair Housing Act, including “a liberal judge who might not get the result Congress intended even if he is not using the disparate-impact approach.”
  • At Big Think, Steven Mazie considers whether, if the Court were to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, a state court judge could ignore that decision.
  • In the New York University Journal of Law and Liberty, Ryan Scoville suggests that the Jerusalem passport case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, actually “presents a question about who controls official diplomatic communications, and recognition is beside the point.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 3, 2015, 6:36 AM),